Carnival Triumph, April 22, 2006. Our flight out of Buffalo on fri the 21st was uneventful (a good thing). We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale mid afternoon and rented a car which was much cheaper than a shuttle or taxi. Had a little trouble finding our hotel/ condo in Miami. We stayed at the Fortune House overlooking the bay for about $169 for the one night and the place was absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend it for a pre cruise stay. It was a condo with 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer in room, 2 balconies (1 off the living room and 1 off the master bedroom) a huge walk in closet and 2 bathrooms. The place was extremely clean. It has a nice size workout room and a very nice pool with attached hot tub. not much for midpriced dining within walking distance but that is why we had the rental car.
Returned the car to miami airport and took the free shuttle back to the port (Thrifty) the total time from hotel to airport and back to Port of Miami was about 45 min to 1 hr.(very smooth).
The embarkation went very smooth with fairly minimal waiting times. We did have some sizable lines but they did keep moving right along. We were on the ship by about 1230. Rooms were not ready yet so we just ate and scoped out the ship a little. Once the rooms were ready we did not have our bags until about 430- 500 pm. Tipped our room steward $20 right off the bat and that ended up backfiring a bit (will explain later). We went to the Camp Carnival welcome talk the first night and that was pretty brief and informative. Our 4 yr old took to Camp pretty well and seemed to really enjoy his time there every day. We got to see our 12 year old once in awhile as he made friends very quickly and spent most of his time in the arcade and went to a few shows.
The comedian was very, very good. The juggler was simply amazing (A MUST SEE), and the magician was just so-so in my opinion (some pretty lame magic).
THE FOOD!! Carnival really needs to work on this issue. The breakfast food was very, very good with the omelet station and all of your basic breakfast foods which were very good. I especially loved the French toast. Lunch and dinner at the buffet- NOT GOOD!!!! THANK GOD FOR THE NY DELI. And I can only eat so many cheeseburgers and fries and pizza. I thought the food on the Imagination last year was better. I had a problem one morning with a member of the dining room staff. I went to breakfast alone that one morning and when I walked in I grabbed my OJ and coffee and put them down on a 2 person table and went to get my food. When I looked over while in line I saw this guy take my full glass of OJ and full hot cup of coffee and discard them. Ok I laughed it off although I did mention it to him. Went to a different table because someone else sat there and put my food down and went and got coffee and OJ again. When i got back to my table my food was then nowhere to be found. Now it was a little irritating. Went back to the lengthy food line and once again went back to my table and guess what ????????, yep drinks once again GONE!!. I motioned him over and TALKED AT HIM for this and made him go get my drinks while i kept an eye on my food. I visited the pursers desk after breakfast for a little bitch fest about this.
San Juan was very nice and we just walked around and did a little shopping. St. Thomas was beautiful as my 12 year old and I did the wave buster snorkeling tour and had a fantastic time snorkeling as we saw stingrays and all kinds of marine life and free punch and rum punch on board. The hosts were very good.
St. Maarten was also very, very beautiful although we were very let down due to our excursion being cancelled at the last minute due to engine problems on the boat. We were supposed to do the pirate ship snorkeling adventure with a BBQ RIB cookout and open bar afterward. So we did more shopping in St Maarten.
Spectacular weather the whole trip except one brief rainfall on the second day (no big deal). Played some bingo (no luck) and played the casino quite a bit (no luck, lol).
Our room steward was just ok. I asked him about the hard cover book in our room and if I could have it and he said no it must stay in the room. We also only got a towel animal on 3 nights. 2 times he did not even clean the dirty dishes out of our room and a couple of days we did not get our full compliment of towels. I adjusted his tip minus the first $20 I gave him.
Debarkation was as usual a pain in the butt lugging all of that luggage 5 miles off the ship. All in all though it was a good cruise. I would say that our cruise on the Imagination the year before was a little better. On a scale of 1- 10 I would give it a solid 7.5, they just need to work on the food issues. Also the grand buffet was very, very spectacular.